Food Safety
TECH FLASH

OSI apologizes for food safety scandal and promises action in Shanghai

Chinese food and drug administration officials shut down Husi Food Co., Ltd. after reports the company sold expired meat

OSI apologizes for the sale of rotten meat and promises action in ShanghaiExecutives at the Illinois-based meat processing holding company OSI Group have apologized for the unraveling food safety scandal at Husi Food Co., Ltd., one of its affiliates in Shanghai.

“What happened at Husi Shanghai is completely unacceptable,” says Sheldon Lavin, OSI Group CEO and chairman. “I will not try and defend it or explain it. It was terribly wrong, and I am appalled that it ever happened in the company that I own.”

Operations at the Husi facility in Shanghai were halted by Chinese food and drug administration officials early last week pending an investigation into claims of food safety negligence. Officials would later confirm they found illegal activity at the facility.

At the same time, Chinese media outlet Dragon TV aired undercover footage of employees at the facility casually placing meat that fell on the ground back into company supplies. News agencies also reported there was evidence the facility routinely repacked expired meat products.

Husi supplied meat and poultry products to McDonald’s and Yum! Brands Inc. which includes KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. After the initial news break in the US, the scandal spread to Japan, where McDonald’s says Husi provided 20 percent of the meat for its chicken nuggets, according to the Associated Press. Starbucks, Burger King and Papa John’s later came out as users of Husi meat. All the companies immediately stopped using products obtained from the facility.

OSI said it has pulled all products produced by Husi from the market.

Lavin and other OSI officials traveled to Shanghai where they gave a press conference Monday. According to the Associated Press, in addition to fixing the health problems, OSI will create a “quality control center” in Shanghai and dedicate $1.6 million to funding a food safety education campaign.

According to Xinhua, the Chinese state press agency, five people from Husi were detained by police on Wednesday. The company’s quality department manager later told police the company conducted the malpractice for years with the implied approval of management.

“On behalf of Husi and OSI, I sincerely apologize to all of our customers in China,” Lavin says. “We will bear the responsibility of these missteps and will make sure that they never happen again. That is my personal commitment and that of our organization.”

Lavin says OSI is dedicated to providing safe, quality food around the world. This occurrence, he says, violates the tenets of the company and the values it embraces.

“Upon hearing of the Shanghai issue, I immediately sent our best team of global experts from the OSI Group, and more are on their way, to work with the local team to ensure my promise to you is met,” Lavin says, adding local Chinese authorities have inspected all the company’s other facilities and found no issues.

The investigation is ongoing.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Jeremy Gerrard

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive

Food Engineering

FE September 2014

2014 September

The September 2014 issue of Food Engineering explores how lean manufacturing, quality improvements and increased automation helps processors meet rapidly changing demands. Also, read how robotics, advanced machine controls, software and OEE are just a few of the tools that can boost productivity on packaging lines.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +